Travellers stuck in Moscow’s biggest airports due to a long layover or flight cancellation should give up any thought about sleeping in the airports, as the Moscow regional Duma (government) has enacted new passenger “behaviour” rules that make it illegal to sleep in airports. The rules were enacted in preparation for the 2018 World Cup, which is being held in Moscow in five weeks and expected to draw up to one million fans from different countries.
Rates at Moscow-area hotels and guest houses are soaring, and authorities want to discourage fans from contemplating sleeping at the airport. Thus, “using the airport for accommodation” is now banned at the Domodedovo, Sheremetyevo and Zhukovsky Airports. Other behaviour covered by the new rules includes sitting on floors, placing baggage on seats, riding airport trolleys, inappropriate usage of lifts or escalators, and listening to music without headphones. Oh, and make sure that your clothes are fresh and clean, as “people in stained or foul-smelling clothing” can also be fined. And if you accidentally spill something on your clothes while at the airport, you might find yourself in double jeopardy as it is illegal to wash one’s self in the public toilets (we’re not sure if the Duma means the entire bathroom facility or the toilets themselves).
If you do happen to get caught running afoul of the these new rules, don’t get overly worried, as the maximum fine is 500 rubles, which equals about $8 US dollars.
On the bright side, the Duma also passed new rules to curb “illegal taxi touts” and other scammers who prey on newly arrived passengers. The new rules have not yet been applied to Moscow’s Vnukovo Airport, and there’s no word from the Duma whether these will be temporary or permanent measures.